Case Studies: Nurses

Registered Nurse Defeats Boundary Violation Allegations to Retain Registration and Employment

The nursing board of a Central Atlantic state notified a registered nurse supervising nursing at an assisted-living facility of license disciplinary charges. The charges alleged that the nurse had committed boundary violations, inducing an elderly dementia patient at the facility to provide the nurse with undue financial and other benefits. The charges did not disclose the identity of the patient allegedly induced to provide undue benefits but instead required the nurse to appear for an investigation interview within ten days of the notice of the charges. The nurse's employer immediately suspended the nurse, pending resolution of the charges. The nurse promptly retained the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to answer and defend the charges. The Team obtained an adjournment of the interview until the client nurse could learn the complaining patient's identity, the alleged financial and other benefits, and the alleged inducement. The disciplinary official responded with a disclosure that a certain patient's family members had complained to the nursing board after the dementia patient had alleged the nurse's threats and extortion. Disclosure of the patient's identity enabled the Team to work with the employer's general counsel to obtain medical records and review, property records, and witness statements, showing that the dementia patient had fabricated the allegations without cause. The family withdrew its complaint with an apology to the facility and nurse. The nursing board then dismissed the complaint, and the facility restored the nurse's employment.

Licensed Practical Nurse Successfully Defends Neglect and Abuse Charges

The licensing division of the health department of a Gulf Coast state notified a licensed practical nurse working at a nursing care and recovery facility of disciplinary charges. The charges alleged that the LPN had neglected two bed-ridden patients in their daily care, resulting in bed sores, infections, and unsanitary conditions. When the LPN's employer nursing facility refused to assist the LPN with the charges, the LPN retained the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. The Team learned from the facility's liability insurance defense attorney that the two patients' representatives had sued the nursing facility for substandard care. The facility's supervisor had, in response, blamed poor nursing by the client nurse. The Team's interview of the client nurse and investigation of the civil liability suit's filings showed to the contrary that the two patients required intensive medical care. Poor nursing was not the cause of their declining medical conditions, and the client nurse was not solely or even primarily responsible for their nursing care. Conferences, communications, interviews, and exchanges of documentation resulted in the licensing Board's dismissal of the charges against the client nurse. The Team helped the client nurse negotiate a reference and recommendation letter from the facility manager for the nurse to take employment at a different facility under better management.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Defends Fraudulent Records Allegations

The nursing board of a Southwest state notified a clinical nurse specialist of disciplinary charges threatening the nurse's loss of state registration. The charges alleged that the clinical nurse specialist had submitted false and fraudulent nursing records and altered nursing records contrary to professional codes and state nursing standards. The charges arose out of a dispute that the clinical nurse specialist had with her employer over her time entries and related wage records and compensation for completed work hours. When the clinical nurse specialist refused to accept the employer's rejection of the nurse's wage and hours claim, the employer reported the nurse to the state nursing board, resulting in disciplinary charges. The clinical nurse specialist retained the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. The Team and forensic consultant obtained, organized, and analyzed the client nurse's time records against other available journals and records, confirming their accuracy. The Team further confirmed that the charges only had to do with the time records' disputed accuracy, not with nursing care records or their alteration. The Lento Law Firm written response to the charges, and presentation of documentation at an informal conference, resulted in the charges' dismissal. The Team further helped the nurse resolve the employment dispute with payment of the nurse's time as recorded. The nurse subsequently obtained alternative employment, with a clean disciplinary record and a positive reference from her former employer.

Nurse Midwife Defeats Certification Board Charges of Exam Cheating and Inadequate Credentials

The American Midwifery Certification Board notified a nurse midwife registered for nursing in a Northeast state of a disciplinary complaint. The complaint alleged irregularities in the nurse midwife's certification examination process. The nurse had an active state board of nursing registration going back many years without issue or complaint. The nurse had only recently determined to certify as a nurse midwife. The nurse had passed the midwifery certification exam, received certification, and begun midwife practice before receiving the AMCB disciplinary complaint. The complaint alleged both falsification of credentials and exam cheating. The nurse midwife retained the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. The Team promptly obtained from the AMCB disciplinary official a specification of the falsification and cheating charges. The specification alleged that the nurse midwife's educational program had failed to certify the midwife's transcript, discovered in an AMCB audit of candidate submissions. The specification further alleged that the nurse midwife had disclosed exam materials to other candidates after passing the test, according to a list of nurses whom another nurse midwife facing disciplinary charges implicated. The Team helped the nurse midwife obtain and submit the certified transcript. The Team also showed the AMCB disciplinary official that the client nurse's name was slightly different than the name the other nurse midwife had submitted and that the two had no prior contact or relationship. The AMCB disciplinary board dismissed the charges on the official's recommendation.


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